Playground Buzz – The Most Intriguing Social Media News of the Week

By Affinitive

With folks gearing up for SXSW, Facebook’s Brand Timeline changes finally sinking in, and the Apple’s new iPad announcement this week, you may have missed out on some of the other interesting social media news of the week.  Not to worry, we’ve got a roundup of some of the stories that have us buzzing.

So when not speculating about a possible pitch to Lady Gaga’s future winery, marveling at all the pretty with Pingram, and taking a brief look at the history of the animated GIF, this is what we’ve been posting and chatting about.

We’re logging off for the weekend with these in mind:

Facebook Launches Interest Lists
Interest Lists on Facebook allow users to organize updates from brand pages they subscribe to according to separate topics. For example, a user could create a “Social Media” Interest List and add fan pages Mashable and Affinitive under it.  In addition, users will be able to discover other lists, much akin to Twitter’s current practice of  suggesting lists and allowing users to browse and subscribe to others.  Although information from a user’s subscription will automatically appear in their news feed, individual interest lists can be viewed in a separate feed of their own.

What does this mean for marketers? According to HubSpot, the interest lists allows marketers to:

  1. Create Industry Specific Lists (Yet another way to use social media to keep up with what competition is doing as suggested by our founder Bob Troia)
  2. Encourage Thought Leaders to Add the Subscribe Button to Their Personal Profile
  3. Create Content About Industry News
  4. Create a Must-Subscribe, Content-Rich Facebook Presence

Twitter promises Big Changes to Brand Pages (again) 
Twitter brand pages already showcase a brand’s Twitter feed and images, but according to AdAge, Twitter plans to allow brands to add other branded experiences, such as e-commerce and contests/sweepstakes.

Most importantly, the new product promises to finally allow application development on Twitter, which would make way for developers and marketers to build robust applications, much in the same way they can on Facebook.   The new features will be contained within the brand’s timeline, a departure from the 140-character limit, or images and videos that can now displayed.  Of course, Twitter has set no date, but promises that we should see this product roll out at some point in 2012.

BMW uses YouTube to bolster the launch of its 328i
By now, you’ve probably seen the commercial for BMW’s redesigned 328i.  The commercial is intended to spark interest – and desire – and capitalize on this. BMW launched a YouTube contest calling for 3 series aspirers to upload a 5.9 second video (the amount of time it takes the 328i to go form 0 to 60) about their Desire to drive the 328i for a chance to win one.  While the contest in and of it self is nothing revolutionary, the brand’s use of YouTube’s brand channels is noteworthy.  BMW manages to appeal to the luxury aspirational consumer while maintaining luxury status through sleek photography and a visually appealing user experience.

 Facebook Timeline Leads to Growth in Facebook Connected Applications
Traffic and new account signups are increasing for popular Facebook application like GoodReads, Pinterest, and Fab.  For GoodReads that number is close to 6.5 million actions published to Facebook since the app’s Timeline launch. According to a Facebook rep, these applications are seeing increases with Timeline because “They’re built around something people care about and identify with, they enable people to share things they want their friends to see, and they provide easy ways to control the social experience.”